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Old 09-30-2015, 01:37 PM   #1
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Question regarding Battery Tender for Coach (house) batteries

I'll get right to the point.
I leave my MH plugged into a 50 amp circuit all winter. This seems to keep the coach batteries charged nicely and they do not get hot... or even warm. These batteries are (2) 12 Volt model 24DC (deep cycle) "hybrids", wired in parallel... not true deep cycle (or so I've been told).
I run the engine and generator once a month for about 15 minutes during this time. I also use a standard automotive battery charger to charge the Chassis battery about every 6 weeks during this period just to make sure the battery stays fully charged.
From everything I've read on these forums, I might be better off using a Battery Tender to keep the House batteries topped off and turning the battery disconnect switch to "off", rather than depending on the onboard converter/charger to keep them charged.
It seems that several people use the Battery Tender plus (02-0128) to perform this function during winter storage. OK.. but how do you use that with (2) parallel coach batteries? Will it function correctly connected to the POS of one battery and the NEG of the other?
I "chatted" online with someone at Battery Tender website and they told me I would need a 022-0164-DL-WH two bank Tender ($130) for this purpose. I don't remember seeing anyone on these forums using that.
The Battery Tender plus is around $50, and if it will do the job, I see no sense in paying for the more expensive unit.
Please help "unconfused" me.
Thank you.
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:31 PM   #2
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Why not just buy a float charger? It would do as you'd like, keep batteries charged without overcharging them while plugged in.

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Old 09-30-2015, 02:50 PM   #3
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You don't need the two bank charger if the two 12v batteries are in parallel - just connect charger to positive and negative.
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:07 PM   #4
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Yep, I keep my house batteries charged over the winter with a standard battery tender and the batteries wired in parallel, done it that way for years and never had a problem.
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:24 PM   #5
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If you have a "smart" 3 or 4 stage charger built in....why not continue to use that? What on-board charger is in your RV?

If you have a "dumb" charger....you should replace it with one like this.

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Old 09-30-2015, 08:50 PM   #6
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I am not a fan of battery tender. Had two go up in smoke, almost lost my Corvette with one of them. I threw my Battery Tenders away and use a different charger for the Vette and the on board converter for the coach.
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Old 09-30-2015, 09:26 PM   #7
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I have a battery tender I have been using for eight or nine years.
Use it to charge two boat batteries, several car/truck batteries, lawn tractor, and anything else that needs 12 volts.

No issues to date

thxDale
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:09 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=pasdad1;2765673]If you have a "smart" 3 or 4 stage charger built in....why not continue to use that? What on-board charger is in your RV?

Thanks all for the quick responses.

PASDAD1,

I have a WFCO WF-8930-50 converter.
According to the literature I got with the MH, the battery charging system is 3-stage as follows:

1. Bulk Mode
1). When the converter detects that the output voltage of the
battery has dropped to 13.2VDC, the converter will auto
matically boost the output voltage to 14.4 volts, this
means the battery energy is less than 50%.
2). If converter detects that the output voltage is 14.4 volts,
the converter will drop to 13.6 volts (Absorption Mode),
this means battery energy is full.
3). The converter will supply the output voltage of 14.4 for
a period of time, then the converter will automatically
return to 13.6 volts. This is to avoid battery damaged
under a prolong period of charging .
2. Absorption Mode:
During this period the converter will keep the voltage at
13.6 volts.
3. Float Mode:
After a prolong period of sensing no load or demand the
microcontroller automatically places the converter in the
“Float Mode”.

My assumption that based on the above, as long as I am plugged into shore power during storage (which I do), then this device is doing pretty much the same thing that the Battery Tender does.

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Old 10-01-2015, 09:34 AM   #9
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It should keep the batteries charged without boiling them. Are all batteries charged by the system or only the house batteries? If your chassis batteries aren't charged by the converter/charger, you might install a Trik-L-Start to keep the batteries all charged from the shore cord without needing to start the engine. Idling the engine does more harm than good, it doesn't reach full operating temps and just allows condensation to accumulate in the crankcase.
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
It should keep the batteries charged without boiling them. Are all batteries charged by the system or only the house batteries? If your chassis batteries aren't charged by the converter/charger, you might install a Trik-L-Start to keep the batteries all charged from the shore cord without needing to start the engine. Idling the engine does more harm than good, it doesn't reach full operating temps and just allows condensation to accumulate in the crankcase.
Good Advice, Bob


Thanks.
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadyEddy View Post
Good Advice, Bob


Thanks.
WFCO's are notorious for broiling batteries, I would not trust one for a long period of time un-monitored.

I think it is better (minority opinion) to disconnect the batteries entirely for storage and just top them off once a month. They live longer if left at rest, than left at float for a long period with no charge/discharge cycles.

That is my experience with 40+ years of boats and campers. There is no persuasive benefit for leaving them plugged in unused, despite the marketing claims of all the trickle chargers, pulse gizmo's etc. Lots of anecdotal claims by lots of people, that that is ok to.

One charging cycle a month and the rest of the time at rest disconnected, is the best way to go IMHO. AND check the wiring and cell water (if wet batts) when you do charge them.
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Old 10-01-2015, 11:23 AM   #12
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I use the 022-0164-DL-WH. I have one charge circuit running to the house batteries and the other to the chassis batteries. It took an extension to make it work, but it has worked very well.
Antny
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbonz View Post
WFCO's are notorious for broiling batteries, I would not trust one for a long period of time un-monitored.
I based my recommendation that the WFCO WF-8930-50, according to it's specs, should be adequate for maintaining batteries during storage. Your comment that, "WFCO's are notorious for broiling batteries, I would not trust one for a long period of time un-monitored." made me turn to Google, both across the internet and on iRV2. I find very little evidence of your statement. Reviews and forums don't support it. It's not the most sophisticated or most expensive, but few reports of damage. Some comments about being made in China, but ironically probably most of those comments were typed on Chinese made computers, tablets or smart phones.
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Old 10-02-2015, 01:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
It should keep the batteries charged without boiling them. Are all batteries charged by the system or only the house batteries? If your chassis batteries aren't charged by the converter/charger, you might install a Trik-L-Start to keep the batteries all charged from the shore cord without needing to start the engine. Idling the engine does more harm than good, it doesn't reach full operating temps and just allows condensation to accumulate in the crankcase.
Big fan of the Trik-L-Start... Actually, I had the Amp-L-Start installed. It is 15 amps instead of 5 amps.

Link - AMP-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer - Overview Page

Good luck!
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